Mandatory vaccinations and rapid testing – A message from President LoremanPosted on: Aug 18, 2021
Dear CUE Community,
Over the past few days a number of Ontario universities have declared that they will require all students and employees to be COVID-19 vaccinated. While not entirely following suit, in Alberta three large universities announced yesterday that they will require rapid testing for anyone who cannot demonstrate proof of vaccination when they come on to campus. These mandates and requirements are well-intentioned and focussed on preventing the spread of COVID-19 at these universities.
CUE requires vaccinations for anyone living in our Residence, for student athletes, and for those involved in Arts performances where they are not part of a course. Effective Monday, August 23, masks are mandated in public indoor spaces on campus, except for instructors while teaching. However, CUE will not be implementing a mandatory vaccination or rapid testing policy for everyone on campus. While I most certainly agree that we should all be vaccinated, mandatory vaccination or rapid testing policies for everyone who comes on to our campus are simply unenforceable.
Consider that approximately 3000-4000 people come to CUE’s campus each day. Processing and testing that number of people as they enter campus would take hours, resulting in missed classes, long line-ups, and employees being very late for work. It is unrealistic to expect that we could operate in this way on a daily basis over an extended period of time, and no university has the resources to deploy the large number of staff and tests (which are expensive) necessary to implement this. Because such mandates are unenforceable at CUE, they would be meaningless.
CUE is well prepared for our return to campus, even as the pandemic continues. We are exceeding the AHS rules and guidelines, and have planned carefully over the summer, making our detailed plan publicly available. This plan, however, relies on each individual in our community choosing to be vaccinated. Doing so is not only sensible from a personal perspective, but also demonstrates that you care about other people and want to stop the spread of the virus. If you are not yet vaccinated, you are late to the party and, I will add, you are making a conscious decision to put yourself and others at great risk. I encourage you to make arrangements to get your shot without delay.
I hope this message reassures you that CUE is prepared for a safe return to campus, and is taking all possible and reasonable steps to ensure a successful start to our Fall 2021 semester.
Tim Loreman, PhD.
President and Vice-Chancellor